Thursday 20 July 2017

CPA in call to keep whole of April clear for clubs

 

After meeting with senior GAA officials the CPA are still hopeful their voice can be heard by Central Council and that their plans will be seriously considered. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
After meeting with senior GAA officials the CPA are still hopeful their voice can be heard by Central Council and that their plans will be seriously considered. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The Club Players Association wants the month of April to be an inter-county free zone, with only All-Ireland hurling and football finals and football semi-finals being played in August.

These are the cornerstones of plans devised by the players' body earlier this year, which were presented to senior GAA officials just under two weeks ago.

The plans, seen by the Irish Independent, also commit to All-Ireland club finals being completed in the same calendar year and leaving December as a closed season.

A 'club-only' April would rule out all inter-county competitions, challenge matches and training camps.

To achieve such a definite calendar the CPA have put together a suite of three fixture plans that all adhere to the same calendar principles and are based on tiered standards.

Referenced by colour as opposed to number, a 'purple' plan envisages an All-Ireland Championship where counties play 14 football league games in an eight-team division with 10 hurling games in a six-team division on a home and away basis from February to end of March/early April and May to early July.

Quarter-finals involve the top four playing against the top four from the other division in the same tier. A similar structure would apply in a secondary tier. That plan does not incorporate a provincial element.

A 'purple plus' plan does, however, feature a 'provincial cup' which would be played in all four provinces over alternate weekends dotted between the championship league games with provincial finals at the end of June and an All-Ireland provincial cup final in July.

The third 'green' plan has February/March provincial groups, complete with semi-finals and final prior to the April break with an All-Ireland Championship, again on a league basis initially through May, June and early July before All-Ireland quarter-finals featuring the top four teams from the two divisions in each tier.

After meeting with senior GAA officials the CPA are still hopeful their voice can be heard by Central Council and that their plans will be seriously considered, but they fear an impasse.

Irish Independent

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